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Old 08-24-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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Confused over a Class C or Entry Class A

The age old question. A or C? I was fairly set on buying an ACE 30.1 Class A until I took the wife to the dealer to close the deal. She looked at the Class C motorhomes and really liked them. Especially the Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K. It had a huge living area and large counter space in kitchen. Felt nice and roomy. Now we have backed off the Class A ACE. I am confused a bit.

I have two small kids ages 4.5 and 1.5. We will mainly use the Motorhome for trips to Disney, Tailgate at Football games, and my KCBS BBQ Competitions. Most say with small kids a Class C is the way to go. If you had my situation and wanted to buy new with a $75K budget what would you buy? The two we are considering are the 2014 Winnebago Minnie Winne 31K for around $60K or a Entry level 2014 Class A Thor ACE 30.1 for around $75K? Keep in mind I have never owned a motorhome only travel trailers.

On a side note I got concerned while I was at the dealer. Had two salesman and a service tech tell me that the ACE motorhomes spend more time in the repair bay than on the road while they were outside on a smoke break.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Assuming you are going to keep if for a number of years, I would opt for the Class C. Winnie has a better rep for quality, the cab over bed to me is a better option than a drop down, the Minnie had more external storage for "stuff". The only drawback to the Minnie might be the size of the gray water holding tank, but even that is manageable.

I also like the Winnie only having a single slide. See no reason for a slide in the bedroom that one is rarely in except to sleep.

And didn't you say the decision maker likes the C ???????????????????????
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Assuming you are going to keep if for a number of years, I would opt for the Class C. Winnie has a better rep for quality, the cab over bed to me is a better option than a drop down, the Minnie had more external storage for "stuff". The only drawback to the Minnie might be the size of the gray water holding tank, but even that is manageable.

I also like the Winnie only having a single slide. See no reason for a slide in the bedroom that one is rarely in except to sleep.

And didn't you say the decision maker likes the C ???????????????????????
You have a point about the decision maker.

She is scared of the Class A. The C is more like a huge SUV and I think she could drive the C no problem. She liked the layout of the Winnie but I know nothing about them.


Are Winnebagos considered a good quality C when compared to a Four Winds Thor C or Forest River C?
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=wildtoad;1699495And didn't you say the decision maker likes the C ???????????????????????[/QUOTE]

AMEN... Take the DW through both again and if she is still on the same page , ...sounds like a done deal to this cowboy.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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AMEN... Take the DW through both again and if she is still on the same page , ...sounds like a done deal to this cowboy.
Going back Monday again without the kids so we can have more time and drive the Winnie. Just want to be sure this is a good quality Class C. I know they have the name but hows the quality?
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Can't speak to the Minnie Winnie quality but we have a 2005 Winnebago Aspect and it has been virtually trouble-free since we bought it, at 50,000 miles, 3 years ago. It now has almost 70,000 miles on it and I think it will last a long time. I would buy another. (used, not new)
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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Can't speak to the Minnie Winnie quality but we have a 2005 Winnebago Aspect and it has been virtually trouble-free since we bought it, at 50,000 miles, 3 years ago. It now has almost 70,000 miles on it and I think it will last a long time. I would buy another. (used, not new)
The one she likes must be a new model or layout. Cant find any used. Seems to me that the used Class Cs are holding their value well and the ones that are priced well are worn out. The used deals appear to be on Class A Gas models.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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We went from a TT to a used class A. The class A is like driving a car. My wife hated driving while towing the TT and would find any reason not to do it. Now with the class A I can hardly get her out of the driver's seat.

A class C is a van chassis and has the over hanging living space on the top and on the sides. It seems that it would be more difficult to see around that, especially when looking over your shoulder into the lane beside you. I would imagine the blind spot is larger in a class C. I have not personally drove a class C before, but I do drive an International with a 26' freight box on it at work and the blind spots are definitely larger than on my class A.

BUT, when it come down to it personally I feel that floor plan trumps almost everything else! Either way I would never own a TT over a motor home ever again!
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #9
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You have a point about the decision maker.

She is scared of the Class A. The C is more like a huge SUV and I think she could drive the C no problem.
I had much the same input from the DW when I was shopping for a m/h. In our case it's mostly for attending air shows and the like, sometimes as short as 2 days, sometimes as long as 2weeks.

The DW has driven enough rental moving vans in her day that she had absolutely no hesitation driving our C around, even parking and such. Her step-brother borrowed it to attend his DW's family reunion with their 2 kids, 5 & 7 years old. He mentioned it was much easier than an A they had rented previously. Among the differences he noted were, closer to the ground, less steps up & down when they go in & out a million times. The cab over bunk which means the dinette doesn't need to be setup and put back every day. The easy driving for the DW. Much easier to pack & unpack for a trip.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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It can be easier to find shops that will work on the C van chassis (engine/driveline, etc) than an A. At least that is true in my area. The $15k difference buys up 30,000 miles of fuel, figuring $5/gallon and 10 mpg. (8-11 mpg would be typical mpg). The van chassis cab often has added safety features (airbags, etc) that an A does not have. The cab over bunk is nice for the kids to leave the bed set up and their stuff while camping.

Downsides of the C are less of a "commanding view" of the road and viewing scenery along the way by passengers beyond the cab area. Turning radius is sometimes tighter on an A. The A has a greater "home feel" by the captains chairs often being able to swivel for use in the living area and that space is maximized.

We like our C, but would also enjoy an A. My current rig isn't Winnebago, but my prior one was. I like how they have detailed schematics spanning several years on their website. I requested a details on a 1991 for plumbing and wiring and got a prompt reply with the PDF diagrams from support. I would buy one of their products again.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #11
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We have a Sunseeker 3170 DS. It has both the overhead bed and two bunkbeds. The lower bunk folds into a low couch when not in use as a bed. Opposite the lower bunk is a flat screen TV. We have four grandchildren between the ages of 7 and 11. When traveling to Disney World and other places, the grandkids in groups of 1 to 4 sit back in the low couch and laugh at the videos that they watch while traveling. In addition, when stopped, two of the kids sleep in the bunks. The 3170 is the only motorhome, whether class A or class C, that has a central TV for the kids to watch, rather than one over each bunk. We really don't want the kids watching separate screens; but much prefer that they are together. The 3170 also has a separate bedroom with a walk around queen size bed and a bathroom with a shower. It has two slides, a stove with an oven, microwave, and a shelf that folds down or up, for more kitchen counter space. We have had our 3170 for almost 2 years and 12,000 miles, and the quality seems very good. If you have a couple of kids, as you do, and intend to keep the motorhome for more than a couple of years, I would recommend the 3170 configuration over any other motorhome available to my knowledge today. And we paid just over 65,000 new for the unit.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Carrying capacity will be a lot less with the C versus the A class just something else to think about C classes are usually close to max weight empty Check the CCC of both units
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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We went Class C (25B) this time... Carrying capacity is one issue as stated above. Be sure to check the Gross vehicle weight and empty weight to compute the useful load. Think about running at no more than 80-85% of Gross weight rating. Running at 90% or more will increase service maintenance including tires, fuel, engine wear, etc. It also can max-out suspension or simply increase sway and cross wind issues.
Second issue in any RV is elbow room. Some RVs are built with phone-booth interior designs blocking elbow room. (Stand inside the RV put your arms out full length and turn 360 degrees. Did you hit anything???) Walk through the RV and see what your extended arms hit. Avoid rat maze interiors as they will drive you nuts. Go for open floor-plans.
Last issue for us was safety... have pets... slides can kill them. Slides also add 2-300 lbs weight to vehicle. That reduces useful load. How about power... enough horsepower for the interstate hwy? Proper transmission for up and more important downhill... 5-6 miles of 6% downgrade requires a good tranny.
Good luck and enjoy life... kids are our future... hug them daily.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:23 PM   #14
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Ok here is what we are looking at. Is the 31K CCC enough for two adults, two kids, and supplies/gear? Is the Ford Chassis and the V10 enough? Will I need the 5 Star Tune on it? Thanks!

31K/31KP
Length 32'7"
Exterior Height 11'2"
Exterior Width 8'5.5"
Exterior Storage3 (cu. ft.) 101
Awning Length 20'
Interior Height 6'10"
Interior Width 8'
Freshwater Tank Capacity(gal.) 44
Water Heater Capacity (gal.) 6
Holding Tank Capacity - Black/Gray4 (gal.) 30/30
LP Capacity5 (gal.) 18
Fuel Capacity (gal.) 55
GCWR6 (lbs.) 22,000(C)
GVWR (lbs.) 14,500(C)
GAWR - Front (lbs.) 5,000(C)
GAWR - Rear (lbs.) 9,600(C)
Wheelbase 220"

C Ford E450 Chassis








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